Anemic economic growth, high gas prices, out of control commodity prices, a strengthening US dollar, all are helping keep mortgage rates near all-time lows.
CSM reports: Low rates haven’t been enough to jumpstart the weak housing market. Fewer people bought previously occupied homes in April, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. Sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annualrate of 5.05 million units, far below the 6 million homes a year that economists consider a healthy market.
However, the number of borrowers looking to refinance is now at the highest level since the second week of December, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refinance activity has increased 33 percent over the last five weeks, mirroring the steady decline in rates.
Despite the gains, refinancing is only at half the level it reached in the fall of last year when mortgage rates fell to record lows. The rate on the 30-year home loan hit a four-decade low of 4.17 percent in November. The 15-year mortgage rate reached 3.57 percent that same month, the lowest level on records dating back to 1991.